The musicians have shared their anger online after news that the UK government has rejected a “visa-free” tour deal as part of Brexit negotiations.
Yesterday (January 9) it was reported that the UK has rejected an EU deal that would allow musicians to enter EU countries without a visa.
In Boris Johnson’s trade deal with the EU, after the Brexit deal, workers in some professions were allowed to travel for business without applying for a visa. However, the musicians were not covered in the deal, adding huge costs to the mainland tours.
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A new report from the Independent States indicates that the proposal, which would exempt performers from the need for a visa to enter EU countries for trips of less than 90 days, was rejected by the government.
The UK is reported to have rejected the offer because it does not want to give the same freedoms to EU artists visiting the UK.
Reacting to the news on social media, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke called the government “morons without character” for the decision, while Geoff Barrow of Portishead launched the hashtag “BorisKilledMusic.”
“Unbelievable,” Lily Allen added of the news on Twitter. “Actually, completely believable!” Shame added: “TODAY ON: THE LEAST SURPRISING NEWS IN HISTORY.”
“I think we are owed an explanation,” added Tim Burgess, tagging the accounts of Prime Minister, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, and Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, Oliver Dowden.
The Musicians Union also expressed frustration at today’s news (10 January), posting a statement on Twitter: “We are angered and alarmed by reports that our own elected representatives decided to reject an EU offer of a tour without British musicians visa, after being assured that our £ 101.5 billion from #CreativeArts and £ 5.8 billion from #MusicIndustry were a priority, “the tweet was titled.
An official statement by the Secretary General of the European Union, Horace Trubridge, read: “With the British music business devastated by Covid-19 and with the black hole of canceled concerts, tours, festivals and regular performances that is the foundation of our world-class industry, the news, if true, that our elected representatives have decided to reject such an offer is almost unbelievable. “
In other tweets, the Union asked the Minister of Culture to “urgently confirm one way or another whether it was the UK Government that blocked the deal,” stating that they are currently “informing parliamentarians to ask the Government about # WorkingInTheEU, and for genuine support to be provided to musicians still experiencing gaps in # Covid19 financial assistance. “
The MU added: “The government must support the #PasaporteMusical, and the #InvestiónMusical.”
See more reactions to the news below.
A petition was launched after details of the deal and what it meant for the musicians emerged last year. It called on the government to “negotiate a free cultural work permit that would allow us to travel without a visa across the 27 EU states for touring music professionals, bands, musicians, artists, television celebrities and of sports that tour the EU to perform shows and events and with the exception of the cards for the tour team. “
A government spokesman previously told NME that it was Brussels that rejected the idea of allowing artists to tour the EU without the need for a visa: “The UK pushed for a more ambitious deal with the EU on the temporary movement of travelers. business, which would have encompassed musicians and others, but our proposals were rejected by the EU, “they said.
In other Brexit news, Labor Party leader Kier Starmer has backtracked on his party’s plan to return free movement to the EU, calling the proposal “unrealistic.”